Pushkar’s Camel Fair is like no other! For about ten days prior to the full moon in either late October or early November, the holy town of Pushkar in India is overrun with camels, horses, cattle and people.
The official programme for the fair runs for seven days but for the local farmers, the most important days are those before the fair officially starts when trading of their live stock takes place. For many weeks camel teams can be seen on the road all heading to Pushkar.
Our first foray into the area where the farmers gathered was by cart…sitting on rugs and cushions on the back of an open cart. Nothing as fancy as this one…
We passed makeshift camps that had been set up. The women were busy with their house hold chores whilst their children ran around enjoying the freedom. The men had business to discuss!
Over the next few days, we wandered around the camp. Camels were decorated and looking their best, horses were being ridden at break neck speeds along a small track to check their speed and the cattle were munching quietly, oblivious to all that was happening around them.
Groups of men squatted in front of their tents, huddled in discussion.
Others wandered, ever on the look out for that bargain!
For those not interested in the camel trading, there was all the fun of the fair. Families flocked to the fair stalls that lined a makeshift street along with stalls selling cheap plastic toys and camel decorations. The fair ground entertainment included riding competitions and a best dressed camel competition.
It’s a busy time of the year for this small religious town. Hotel groups build tented camps for their clients…some very luxurious and the Pushkar Palace Hotel on the lake is booked a year in advance. This is the place to stay with its stunning views of the lake. Lake Pushkar is sacred to the Hindus. Temples and bathing ghats surround the lake and it is here that pujas (prayers) are offered.
Commercially it is a busy time too. The markets, shops and restaurants in the town are busy.
Pushkar is one of the highlights of a trip to Rajasthan. Time your visit so you too can enjoy all the fun of the fair!
Have you been to the Pushkar Camel Fair?
This post is part of the 2014 A to Z Challenge You can read all the posts on my theme “Off the Beaten Track” here